CELTA advice from Lewis Richards

Lewis Richards is Director of Studies and Head of Teacher Training at LSI IH Portsmouth


How long were you an EFL teacher, and how long have you been a teacher trainer?

I’ve been an EFL teacher since 1996, and still teach regularly, and I’ve been a CELTA trainer since 2016.

Did you have a different career before EFL?

Not really!  I did my CELTA after university, starting teaching in France, and liked it so much that I’ve been doing it ever since!

What are your hopes/aspirations for your trainees?

I think that the CELTA is obviously quite short, so I want my trainees to gain as many insights into teaching as I can possibly provide in that time – as many tips as I’ve picked up through teaching over the years as I can.   The other thing is that teaching is such an interesting, creative and exciting job – I want to pass on that sense of enjoyment and passion to the trainees.

When you were an EFL teacher what did you like most, and how do you bring that into the classroom for your trainees?

I still am an EFL teacher!   There are so many possible answers to this question – but one would be the fact that every single class and every single student is different, and adapting and tailoring your teaching to each class and student is part of the skill and part of the creativity of the job.   This is definitely something that can be worked on during lesson planning and feedback.

What advice would you give your trainees for successfully completing the course?

Make sure you find a really good school to work in for your first post-CELTA job.   In particular, look for a school that has a big emphasis on development and training, so that you can keep learning in a professional atmosphere.  

What advice would you give your trainees for an interesting and rewarding career?

Try new classes and new things as often as you can.   And once you’ve been teaching for a while, I highly recommend doing a DELTA, it will definitely provide you with a lot of insight and input.  And if you can work in a school with supportive colleagues, you will learn a lot from them too.  And good luck!